Monthly Archives: December 2011

New Year, New You: That Which Has Been Put Off For Too Long

Let’s face it, Charmers, the critical component to success or failure in your goals is your ability to do shit you don’t want to do.  I can promise you that your goals are crammed chock full of glistening gems that you would rather claw your own eyes out than address.  If you liked addressing these things, your goals wouldn’t be goals, they would be called Items I Am Already Doing No Problem-o.

What have I been putting off?  I’m proud to say that, in all honesty, there’s not much left.  I’ve dealt with my fear of returning to the underworld.  I’ve started working on practical magics.  I’ve even dealt with most of the meatspace relationship issues that I’ve been (uncharacteristically) letting fester.  As I sit here and thing about things, that really only leaves one:  putting out my shingle as a professional ritual specialist. 

Long-time readers will recall that I’ve talked about this a few times.  I feel strongly called to serve the community in several ways, and feel that I have particular talents in other areas as well.

1) Rites of Passage.  This is the strongest calling by far.  Too many people lack access to solid groups and traditions to help mark their transitions.  Dedications, initiations, whatever.  I have already performed my first wedding

2) Protection Spells and House Cleaning.  I have relatively little experience with most forms of practical magic, but when it comes to shielding and protection I am not afraid to say that I am a badass.  I performed my first ghost-banishing about a decade ago.  I have helped mediate between some friends of mine and the genus loci of their ancestral land.  When the clueless amateur drug-dealers who lived in the apartment below Aradia and I got into fight where someone drew steel, the bullet went harmlessly into their floor instead of up into our apartment, us, or our cats (you may be tempted to call that a failure of our wards, but no amount of magic could completely shelter the building from their level of stupidity).

3) Divination and Consultation.  Tarot, astrology, natal genius/demon work.  I’ve still got a lot to learn about the latter two, of course, and I’ve only done public readings a few times.  But it’s valuable work and it can be immensely rewarding.

4) Spells, Charms, and Enchantments.  People have needs.  I’m a magician.  Whether it’s designing and/or participating in rites for fellow practitioners, or doing it all for the “mundane” …  I can help.  This, however, is where we really start to drift away from the calling into the “that would be fun!”  Designing and aiding in magical rituals for less or otherwise experienced practitioners falls into the same category as the rites of passage, but the rest … well, there’s a little bit of greed and ambition there, too.

5) Teas, Potions, and Homebrew.  Because they’re fun, and because when I really go at it, I’m pretty damn good… even if most of my close personal friends are actually even better.  Fortunately, back in Sunrise Indiana, I won’t be competing with them.

6) Mask Making.  I make sacred masks.  I need to make more of them.  I can’t keep them all in the first place, and the use of magical masks is a practice I wish to encourage in neo-Pagan witchcraft—that means gifting and selling them.

That’s a long list of services for a beginner.  And how does one build a clientele?  How does one make sure one’s clientele doesn’t reach a point where it conflicts with other obligations—chiefly school, in my case, but also friends and family?  And how does one advertise when one wishes, out of concern for one’s academic professionalism, to keep a certain distance of plausible deniability between ones public identity and a blog such as this?

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Facing My Fear

Several months ago I had an experience in the underworld that made afraid to go back.  A slightly longer version of the story goes like this. 

As you all know, my experiments in ceremonial magic have been framed by Christopher Penczak’s Temple of High Witchcraft.  His exploration of Malkuth begins with a journey to the Elemental Realm of Earth in order to make a contact there, followed by a quest to the Queen of Malkuth to petition for one’s “Stone of Sovereignty”.

My Earth-guide did not appear to me clearly at first.  It was a shadowed figure.  My first “glimpses” were of a muscled arm and ass.  When she did reveal herself completely, it was as a hulking, horned figure about three times my size.  Since she disdained to give me a name, I dubbed her the “Troll Lady” (much to her amusement).  She accompanied me through my initial explorations of the Elemental Realm of Earth, and to the Garden of Malkuth on two occasions—though, interestingly, it was the leopard of Dionysus who led me through the Garden to the Queen.  It was Rhea who appeared to me as the Queen of Malkuth, and at the end of a series of exchanges over several journeys she gave me a purple orb. 

In order to complete my “initiation” of Malkuth, the Troll Lady led me deeper into the underworld, past a brazen wall and gate, to a circle of shadowy male figures who told me that the purple orb was not the Stone of Sovereignty.  The Troll Lady then led me back to the Garden of Malkuth and made a demand of me that I’m still not certain how to process—one which made one of my other spirit-allies jealous.  The whole experience unnerved me, and although I subsequently drummed Sannafrid down to the Underworld on at least one occasion, I did not myself descend until this most recent Dark Moon.

It was suggested to me that I do some divination before hand to attempt to get a handle on the situation.  Although this is not a sort of divination I often do—usually using it more as a sort of “sonar” than to get specific answers—I gave it a try.  The results were largely unclear, except that I did need to deal with it and now was the time.  There was also some indication that the Troll Lady and I had some unfinished business, perhaps from a past life.  Perhaps one of my lovely readers might have some insight:

What sort of spirit is the Troll Lady?  9 Wands, 5 Swords, X Fortune.  Reask = 6 Disks.

What does the Troll Lady want from me?  V the Emperor, XX the Aeon, 7 Cups.

What will the outcome be of my working with the Troll Lady?  XIII Death, 3 Disks, 0 the fool.

What will the outcome be for me?  2 Disks, VII the Chariot, XVII the Star.

Beyond this I knew only that things would play out best if I sought out both the spirits involved in the conflict.  With this in mind, Aradia and I cast a circle and, with her serving as an anchor in case things went sour, I descended to the underworld in search of a spirit who could help mediate the situation.

I found myself beside a river, which I decided to follow upstream for some time before realizing that I was supposed to be in the river.  Jumping into the water, I was quickly swept downstream.  Completely submerged, I met a water-nymph who agreed to mediate for me.  We travelled down the river and across an ocean, finally emerging at the shore of a mountainous island.  Given the nature of the conflict, I was somewhat concerned (to my embarrassment and the nymph’s amusement) about enlisting the aid of yet another “female” spirit, so when we emerged from the water she took the form of a muscular old man before leading me up the mountain.

At the top of the mountain was a stone table where Tsu and the Troll Lady were waiting for us.  Neither were entirely pleased with the situation, but they weren’t hostile, either.  They’re also flickering in and out, like an unclear signal.  I try to “summon” them by their names, and that helps, but not much.

Trying to get things on the right foot, I start by re-introducing myself formally to all involved.  I already know Tsu’s name—I gave it to her, after all—and the Troll Lady gave me a name that I couldn’t comprehend.  The new spirit introduced him/herself as Thetis, at which point everything started spinning: the four of us were semi-stable around the table, but the entire universe seemed to be caught in a counter-clockwise maelstrom around us. 

I tried to hold on, but I ultimately failed, and we were all sucked into a vortex.  Interestingly, this seemed to break all the tension:  “See,” I told them, “I have no idea what I’m doing.  I need all the help I can get.”

We eventually swirled our way back to the stone table, where I apologized to all involved for the drama and thanked all involved for their aid and company.  The Troll Lady gave me a sigil, which I only received in part.

Exhausted, I returned to my body.  Below is a sketch of the Troll Lady and the partial sigil.  Click, as they say, to embiggen.

IMG_4994

2 Comments

Filed under witchcraft

Get Made

Aradia has introduced me to another new band.  Their music is fun, but generally not genius … except for this song, which contains a number of themes that I think most of us will find familiar.

Howling endlessly and shrilly at the dawn / And I lost the taste for judging right from wrong / For my flesh had turned to fur, yeah / And my thoughts, they surely were / Turned to instinct and obedience to God.

So if you’re gonna’ get made, / Don’t be afraid of what you’ve learned

1 Comment

Filed under art

New Year, New You: More Goals

My first round of goals were more trajectories than concrete goals.  So here are some real goals before I move on to the next NYNY prompts.

Immediate

1) Finish the car-protection talismans tomorrow.  They just don’t quite feel “done” yet.

2) Write up my Dark Moon rites for the amusement of my readers.

3) Keep up with the New Year New You prompts.

Short Term: Complete Before Break Ends

1) Interpret the natal chart I’ve calculated for Sannafrid.  I’ve been studying a bit of astrology along with ceremonial magic, and doing birth charts for friends has been my chief method.  I promised hers by the start of the new semester, and I’ll keep that promise damn it.

2) New title for my book of shadows.

3) Research or design and make a talisman to help me with my Greek language studies.  That shit is kicking my ass.

4) Resume my attempts at astral projection.  Astral projection has always fascinated me—it was one of my first major magical efforts, back in high school—but has also always eluded me.  This is unacceptable.

Short Term: Complete Before Valentine’s

1) Finish interpreting my own natal chart.  I’ve been working on it off and on for half a year, but my ego keeps getting in the way.

2) Illustrated meditation on the Element of Earth and finish my meditation on the Element of Water.

3) Develop an outline for the new book of shadows.

4) Transport this blog to wordpress.  Blogger is getting on my nerves.  I hope this won’t irritate my established readers too badly, but there are just so many technical advantages to wordpress.  I wanted to use it originally, actually, but it was broken the day I decided to register my domain.

5) Successfully achieve astral projection.

6) Complete (for the purposes of my survey of ceremonial magic, though not in any larger sense) my studies of Earth/Malkuth and Moon/Yesod.

Medium Term: Complete This Semester

1) Successfully visit the astral temple of another practitioner.

2) Add Athena and Hermes to my altar.

Long Term: Complete by the End of 2012

1) Finish the first draft of my novel Necromancer and the Mark of the Wolf.  I’ve been working on this draft for almost five years, and working on the story in one form or another for a decade.  The story is about 3/5ths complete.

2) Produce a draft of Witches’ Brew.  This is a project Aradia and I have been talking about for the last year or so: a magical recipe book of homebrew, teas, and potions.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Tarot for Capricorn

When I did my annual reading, the card for Capricorn was the 5 of Cups, which I am supposed to fix with the 10 of Coins.

This may be relatively straightforward.  The 5 of Cups speaks of decisions which you regret.  The 10 of Coins speaks of enjoying what you have.  I have made decisions leading into this month that I am not entirely pleased with—tactical decisions, largely; the way I’ve dealt with certain issues.  But not getting what I wanted isn’t quite the same as things actually going wrong.

Over the course of the next month, I need to focus on appreciating the things I have.

This seems doubly true because, looking at the spread below—my reading for the coming lunar month, reset to the Dark Moon as I discussed before—I might not have it all come Aquarius.

Before getting into the gritty details, several things stand out clearly: only two Major Arcana appear in the main spread; I have laid out nearly every court card; there are a number of repeating themes from last month.

10 Swords was, in fact, my card for the month of Sagitarius and the card in the 9th House of my last Moon-reading, making it likely that some of the fallout of those “closures” are involved in its reappearance in the 2nd House this month.  I haven’t seen the 7 of Disks since October, when it appeared in my 4th House—all four 7s appeared that month.

The two Majors which appear are IX the Hermit in my 4th House and XX the Aeon in my 10th House, indicating that I will be focused very much on myself, my home-space, and my work … possibly to the exclusion of the actual humans in my life.  (Sorry in advance for that, y’all.)

 

1st House – Self, Viewpoint – Basic view, and the lense through which the other cards are viewed and experienced.

7 Disks “Failure” == Prince of Cups; fix w/ Queen of Swords

Destroyed hope, bad circumstances, bad luck, unhappiness. Insights into transience and threats.

Romantic man, seducer, charmer, warm personality. Expression of feeling.

Wealth of ideas, presence of mind. Freedom from dependencies. Encourages clear reasoning and decisive action.

Something has gone wrong. I would guess that “something” is probably me.

I need to approach something from a new angle. I need to free myself of some bond, and do so decisively.

2nd House – Finances, Income – communication, values, self-worth, desires

10 Swords “Ruin”==XIV the Tower; fix w/ 2 D “Change”

Random end, making a clean sweep, destructive energies, putting a stop to something. Breaking off a professional project. Out-of-control ideas. Paradigmatic collapse.

Shadows, instinctiveness, greed, thirst for power, temptation. Prohibited activities, corruption.

Change, flexible exchange, mutual fructification, variety. Restructuring. Changes within a relationship. Uncommitted flirt. Encourages paying attention to the opposite polarity.

The most obvious interpretations of this placement are either that my financial situation is going to be fucked – which is unlikely, given my circumstances – or that I’m going to have some major drama about my money. These may also be true, but I think that this actually elaborates on the “something wrong” in the First House.

I am failing to communicate, I am loosing touch with my values and out of touch with my desires, and it’s bringing things down around my ears. I fix this by changing my approach – by communication and negotiation.

3rd House – Daily Experiences – immediate influences, that which takes up most of our lives

Knight of Wands

Self confidence, courage, striving for ideals, strong & enterprising spirit. Focusing one’s willpower on high goals. Decisive, goal-oriented action.

Despite the above (probably very much internal and/or social) drama, my day-to-day life is going to be very much on the rails. Progress will be made.

4th House – Home-place – family, land, roots

IX the Hermit

Contemplating what is essential, defining one’s position, seclusion, seriousness, retreat, getting to the bottom of things. Knowing oneself. Taking something seriously, being true to oneself instead of making lazy compromises.

For various reasons, I feel that it is best to interpret this not so much as “contemplation in isolation in the home” but “contemplation on isolation and the home”.

I need to spend some time trying to decide what is essential, and what it is exactly that I want.

5th House – Fun / Pleasure – children, hobbies, lovers

Knight of Disks

Fitness, sobriety, perseverance, stable values, reliability, straightforwardness. Stable relationship, sensuality, mutual appreciation, trust. Encourages enjoying what has been achieved and using ones means in a responsible manner.

The Knight of Disks is a very strange card for “fun”. I’m not really sure where to go with this one.

6th House – Work – illness, duty, routine

Prince of Cups

Tender, romantic man; seducer, charmer, warm personality, gushing enthusiasm. Successful connection between intuition and knowledge, social commitment, artistic activity, inner work. My card.

The Prince of Cups would make little sense in the 6th House, outside of an office affair. Except that I am the Prince of Cups, and this tells me that the 6th House – work, duty, routine – is really where I’m going to live under the sign of Capricorn.

7th House – Partnership – associations, spouse

Prince of Disks

Energetic young man, prime mover, person with imperturbable staying power. Stability, intense sensual experiences, feeling secure.

Still more Court cards? Seriously, what the fuck?

Honestly, the impression I get here is “Yay, sex.”

8th House – Taboo / Crisis – sex, death, taxes, loans

2 Wands “Dominion”

Eagerness to fight, courage, willingness to take risks, willpower, becoming inflamed about something, spontaneous assertion, violent forging ahead, inconsideration. Competition, professional challenge. Desire to make conquests. Warns against inconsiderate aggression and “hollow demonstrations of power”.

The Eighth House is always hard. What am I afraid of? What am I freaking out about? Or is this one of the cases where the 8th House is about sex, death, taxes, and other people’s money?

2 Wands is also an interesting card. It’s all over the place, but this time I think it’s talking about taking risks.

Even that begs questions, though: Am I taking too many risks? Not enough? And I taking the wrong risks?

9th House – Higher Perception – journey, movement

4 Cups “Luxury”

Reveling, enjoying life, emotional security, sense of security. “Recognition of the seed of decay that abundance bears within itself.” Encourages drawing on one’s resources and enjoying the moment.

This seems to indicate that, although things are in a constant state of flux, I am essentially on the right path.

10th House – Recognition – career, ambition, status

XX the Aeon

Transformation, new beginning, hope, self-discovery, spiritual development. Steps showing the right direction, reorganization, being open to new methods of work, advanced education, bring a a new spirit to one’s working life. Encourages opening up to new developments.

Professionally, the coming weeks are very well-omened for me. I think the semester is going to start strong.

11th House – Friendships – groups, social activities

3 Wands “Virtue”

Healthy basis, confidence, success, initiative, vitality. Becoming aware of one’s possibilities and developing confidence. Forming delicate bonds. Harmony.

Similarly, the auguries are very good for my social life over the rest of break and into the beginning of the next semester. If the problems in my first two houses are what I suspect they are, then this (along with the Princes of Disks and Cups) bode well for my ability to work through them.

12th House – Secrets & Fears – hopes, ambitions

9 Wands “Strength”

Drawing on abundant resources, experiencing a flow of energy, anticipation, inspiration. Being inspired by the unconscious. Encourages brave actions in trust of one’s own intuition.

Of course I’m afraid of strength. The strength I have. The strength I need but don’t have. The strength I have and seek but will be best off if I never use.

+2 – Current Position / Outside Influences

Knight of Swords / Queen of Disks

Versatility, discernment, flexibility, intelligence, objectivity, too much emphasis on the rational mind, calculation; clever, eloquent, brilliant, goal-oriented man; experienced adviser.

Fertility, sense of security, sensuality, serenity, endurance; a mature experienced woman; being calm, trustworthy. (20 deg Sag to 20 deg Cap)

I think that I am this Knight of Swords. “Too much emphasis on the rational mind” is one of the big things that have been wrong with me lately.

The question is this: am I also the Queen of Disks? Or is she the people around me?

Underlying Theme

6 Cups “Pleasure”

Reawakening spirits, drawing from the depths, finding fulfillment, emotional recovery, well-being.

There’s a bit of mad drama going on here, but all is well. Or all will be well. I just have to have the strength to make it through.

Leave a comment

Filed under witchcraft

New Year, New You: Goals

Goals are hard for me sometimes.  Life is a journey, not a destination … right?  Of course it is.  But I’ve done enough meandering for now, and maybe it’s time to get my magic in order the same way I’ve been doing by shifting careers.

I’ve already mentioned a few goals as part of the “Begin at the Beginning” posts, but let’s get just a little more specific.

1) Rewrite my formal “Book of Shadows”.  The first versions were good.  They taught me a lot.  But in the process, they’ve also become irrelevant.  And maybe come up with a new name.  I’m getting far enough from Wicca that Book of Shadows seems … inappropriate.  This will be the ongoing process of a lifetime, of course, but it’s still occasionally useful to restart a manuscript from scratch.

2) Perfect a daily practice.  As above: this is the task of a life time, but concrete steps can be made more immediately.  I want to have a ritual plan for every day of the week by the time the semester begins.  I will be doing Yoga two mornings a week once the semester begins, so that’s Tuesday and Thursday.  I think I also want to go through my full Pentagram Rite two or three times a week—since doing it actually every day seems to be too much for me, at least at this stage in life.  Which leaves me with two or three days a week still in need of a ritual—probably Monday and Friday.

3) Complete my self-directed course of ceremonial study.  Although I’m comfortable with this pushing past the coming year, I want to make serious progress.  As above, I am trying to have a concrete plan by the time the semester resumes.

4) Re-establish my lunar rites, this time on a Dark-to-Dark lunar month rather than on a Full-to-Full.  Yet another ongoing task, but this one I have already made good progress on: performing Lunar rites for the first two nights of the Dark Moon.

5) Practical magic.  I’m a magician, damn it.  I’ve been bending the universe to my will for the last decade and a half.  Sure, my charmed life is partly mortal luck and partly white middle-class privilege, but too much has gone too well against odds too strongly against me.  I’ve been cultivating my web of influence for years, and it’s served me well … but it’s time for me to grow up and start making more sophisticated demands of the universe that “good friends, good times, and no starving to death under the bridge”. 

I’m starting small: reupping the existing wards on my car; making new car-protection talismans for myself, Aradia, and whomever we know that would like the third (for some reason I felt the need to make three); redesigning my house wards (to be implemented when I return to the Sunrise Temple).

6) Resume my explorations of the Underworld.  See previous post on that subject.  That process has begun as of this Dark Moon.  But that gets a post (or three) of it’s own, once I’ve had the chance to process.

There will be more goals, of course.  But these are where the radical transformations will begin.

2 Comments

Filed under witchcraft

Another Queer Look at Wicca, with Caveat

When I posted my most recent thoughts on being a queer running in the heavily Wiccanized regions of the neoPagan community, I had been struggling to articulate myself for several weeks and finally decided to just post what I had.  As such, a couple major issues eem to have gotten lost while I was frothing at the mouth.  Jack Faust was kind enough to point some of them out to me on G+:

Hm. I don’t own Sheba’s version of the BoS (it is only part of the BoS she was given by Michael Howard, and includes her own ideas in many places – which have no part in Trad. wicca), so I can’t comment, there. However, I have not seen your reference point from it in other sources – which makes me dubious about it.
That said, there is at least one Trad offshoot (Alexandria-Cthonica, I think) that is now doing a massive level of same sex work that you might want to look into. I won’t take my time discussing the gender essentialist doctrines some covens have (remember: all trad. Covens are autonomous, meaning what goes on changes based on coven, line, and trad) and my issues with them. I think they are… Iffy, most of the time. Not quite what I’ve been taught, at all. But I’m mostly bound to silence there, alas.

I am not an initiate to any tradition of Wicca.  As such, I am precluded from the details of coven-by-coven variance, and have only the Outer Court materials (many of them from the 60’s) and my personal experiences with Wiccans (Traditional and Eclectic) to judge by.  In the parts of the Midwest where I have lived, Traditional covens are hard to come by, and the one time such a coven showed interest in me, I was unable to reciprocate due to the direction in which my life was going.

I can only speak to what I’ve read and seen, and I should have made that more clear.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

New Year, New You: Of Stones and Obstacles

It occurred to me yesterday that it has been almost two months since I last descended to the Underworld. 

This realization begs a clear and pertinent question: what’s been stopping me?  It is tempting to argue that I have been too busy with school; I have been busy, but that’s not actually the reason.  I could confess to lazyness—people are always willing to believe that I’ve been lazy.  But the truth is actually even worse.

I’m afraid.

The last time I went down, a spirit demanded something of me that I wasn’t comfortable giving.  Since then I have been afraid to return.  I have not been wholly inactive in that time—I drummed my friend Sannafrid down without difficulty about a month ago—but my attempts to descend on my own have been … fraught.  Even aiming to go only as far down as my Inner Temple, my visualization fails me.

The details are … sordid, actually, and of a nature somewhat taboo even in the circles I’m running in these days.  Maybe I’ll be willing to get into it more once I’ve my research has panned out and I have more context.  But the details are also beside the point.

I am shamanic witch, but I am afraid to descend to the underworld.  That is the point.  In order to progress in anything, I need to overcome that fear.

1 Comment

Filed under witchcraft

Another Queer Look at Wicca

[This is going to come off as a little harsh.  Fucking deal with it.]

Phil Hine recently published a post on the topic of how gay-friendly Wicca really is or isn’t.  This is a subject I spend a lot of time thinking about.  As I have mentioned numerous times, a great deal of my background and much of my source material are Wiccan or Wiccan-influenced, but there parts that I have always had problems with.  Admittedly, I had a great deal of trouble articulating some of those issues for many years.  I still have trouble articulating them in ways that don’t hurt or alienate my Wiccan friends.  I agree with everything Hine says in the post, and recommend that everyone also check out his ongoing series on occult gender paradigms*.

Wicca and many derivative forms of witchcraft are structured around a inescapably gender-essentialist idea of the world which is reflected in its conception of divinity.  In my experience, the general rule is that the more Traditional a Wiccan path, the worse an offender it is in this regard.  The worst implications of this can be seen in the old books of shadows, which explicitly encourage the eroticization of the power imbalance between student and teacher (Lady Sheba 115) and implicitly forbid homosexuality as an abomination (Ibid. 115-6).  And from here we start delving into the issues V.V.F. articulates so beautifully.  Ecclectic Wicca isn’t always as bad, but … it’s not generally very much better.

I’ve started and abandoned a post to this effect so many times that I’m surprised to cruise through my archives and find I’ve never actually finished one.

The whole “polarity” thing has read as fishy to me from the jump, anyway.  Sure, if one follows the electromagnetic metaphor (see Hine* again for the problems with this), one needs two “poles” to create motion.  But I have yet to meet the competent magician who can’t create that movement within themselves, alone, or had any trouble moving energy in tandem with any other competent magician.  All the serious groups I’ve worked with balanced out magically by element rather than by sex or gender.  When gender balance was an issue it was always one of cis-het-dudes assume they’re in charge and/or don’t listen when ladies talk, awkwardness and/or trouble ensues.  (This was a key issue in the breakdown of the proto-coven.)

I’ve only seen a couple books on Wicca for queers, and I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve only sat down and read one—Penczak’s Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe—but they seemed to follow the same pattern.  Much of what is wrong with Penczak’s book can been seen in the title: it offers queers a supporting role, an opportunity to use our super-special differences to support the community as a whole.  He talks a lot about the various queer gods (insomuch as that distinctly postmodern construction can be applied to ancient figures), but when it comes down to brass tacks it’s just another Wicca Double-oh-duh except with a purple cover.  The history is a little bit less wonky, which is probably why it’s published by Weiser instead of Llewellyn.

Many of these problems seem to stem from just how radical Wicca isn’t.  (Most forms of it anyway.  Reclaiming seems to have its shit together, but I’ve also never gotten to work with any Reclaiming folks, so that skews my perspective.)  Many forms of Wicca simply trade a transcendent sky-father who disapproves of everything for an imminent pair of sky-parents who approve of (almost) everything.  The value of “nature” changes, but often not the corrupt nature of humanity—“unnatural” or “disconnected from nature” instead of “fallen” or “sinful”, but whatever.

Ultimately, though, the whys and the wherefores don’t matter for shit.  As a queer, I frequently feel excluded from or tangential to the Wiccan mainstream of neo-Paganism … when I don’t feel outright unwelcome.  The ceremonial magic I’ve been studying lately is even worse (I have to call fucking phallocentric bullshit on a lot of that stuff, especially anything coming out of the GD).

The more time I spend in the Underworld, the less comfortable I get with any of the traditions I can find in print.  Shit gets weird down there, yo.  So weird even I’m not comfortable writing about all of it.


*No links for further Phil Hine because you should just read everything he has to say. 

Lady Sheba.  The Grimoire of Lady Sheba.  Centenial Edition.  St. Paul, Llewellyn: 2001.

Leave a comment

Filed under witchcraft

New Year, New You: Begin at the Beginning 2

Deb’s prompt.  My initial thoughts.

The apartment is cleaner now.  Almost all my laundry is done, and the dishes finally done.  If they weren’t, the paper never would have been written.  Yes, this counts as magic; it was done mindfully, with the intent of clearing my mind.  I also smudged everything thoroughly with white sage.

My Yesod altar has been disassembled.  I think I’ve wallowed in the Moon enough for now.  I almost wonder if some of my … issues over the last weeks might relate to leaving it up too long.  I had originally planned to move on to Hod long before finals week.

Due to some unexpected car trouble, in addition to my struggles producing my final paper, I am returning to Kansas City tomorrow morning instead of this morning.  Tonight I will make a Mercury talisman (I should have done it yesterday) and tomorrow morning before I go, I will add some Mercury power to my existing car-protection ward.

When I return from break, I will probably set up my Hod alter.  I will absolutely have a plan for how I will balance continuing my ceremonial experiment with better maintaining my previously established practice, and balancing those with school.  This will require much meditation.

Lessons for next year: never start finals week with the house a disaster. It’s almost as hard to research in a messy temple as it is to worship or work. Also, try not to let your car break down at the same time, because that just pushes the stress over the top.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized